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[AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)

Andrew Alston alston.networks at
Tue Jan 15 13:53:16 UTC 2013

Hi Maina,


I personally believe that the problem is two-fold.  Firstly, the community
tends to resist change and the argument always surfaces, why implement
something that isn't going to generate revenue.  The fact is though that
many of us have been saying for years and years that IPv6 is not about
revenue generation, it's about revenue retention.  When the day arrives that
customers cannot access something elsewhere in the rest of the world because
its gone IPv6 only and an ISP cannot offer IPv6, at that point, the customer
is going to walk and go somewhere that can give him full access to the Net,
and the revenue from that customer is gone.  Once a customer is gone, its
far harder to get them to come back than it was to lose them.  The argument
though around revenue retention versus revenue gain is something that we, as
technical people, have often failed to make to the upper management and
those that hold the purse strings, and I believe that technical people who
DO see the risk of not rolling out IPv6 have failed in this regard.  As
technical people it is our responsibility to ensure that our employers
understand the dangers of not moving forward, after all, if our employers
don't move forward and end up bankcrupt as a result, it is us that will be
out of work.


Secondly, with regards to AfriNIC.  I stand by my view that holding onto
IPv4 space is counter-productive, it propagates the mindset that the food
will never spoil.  


With regards to the policy in question, believe me, I would prefer to see
other options before this one, but I'm prepared to look at any option that
speeds up the burn rate of the IPv4 pool to bring us closer to the rest of
the world in terms of when we run out.  This is why in Tanzania I proposed
allowing foreign entities to get space directly from AfriNIC for a premium
price once other regions had run out of space, though I can also understand
why the community stands so strongly against such initiatives, it is an
emotional issue.


Obviously though, first prize in my book is to use the remaining pool in
Africa, and get it allocated.  THIS is where I believe that AfriNIC is
currently failing, and failing badly.  Because of the current process, the
delays, the back and forth, the moving goal posts, the inconsistency and the
lack of service we are seeing out of the organization, there is a resistance
among many to apply for space.  We have to cut through the red tape and make
it easier for African organizations to actually access our available pool so
that it does get used.  To give you an idea just how bad this situation is
at the moment, I had one major financial organization (who sadly I cannot
publically name on this list), tell me that they would remain single homed
with one provider because their space was provider assigned, and despite
previous attempts to get space from AfriNIC, the process had taken its toll
and they had decided it simply wasn't worth the fight, as a result, they
would stay with a single provider and not go PI based.


I know of another organization that was told to present licenses that they
did not need in the country they were operating in before they could get
space.  I know of other industry critical bodies who have been fighting for
space for 3 MONTHS since they ran out.  We all saw the billing issues I
raised on this list last week, and we all still await the full report on
this issue that was promised would be delivered early this week, yet we are
now almost to the middle of the week and there is still no report on this
list.  So yes, there are problems at AfriNIC that are scaring people away
and slowing down the burn rate of the v4 pool, these HAVE to be rectified.
As I said, it's a two-fold problem and needs to be addressed in both areas.







From: Maina Noah [mailto:mainanoa at] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 2:17 PM
To: Andrew Alston
Cc: Sunday Folayan; AfriNIC Resource Policy Discussion List
Subject: Re: [AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address
Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)




I here you and i understand your point of view clearly. But i for one will
not support this policy but will tend to stand on my own and say i dont want
leftovers no more even if they can be useful for one night. 


I think in away AfrNIC has also encouraged some of us as providers to get
ready and prepare for IPv6 "the new food" which i personally think is the
right path. We want more leftovers (IPv4) yet we still seat on the new fresh
food (IPv6) without consuming it too. 


What is wrong now,!!!! Afrinic or the community? 


Maina Noah


On 14 January 2013 21:30, Andrew Alston <alston.networks at> wrote:



While I agree with you to an extent, the problem is, and to continue your
analogy, when people believe there is still food in the fridge, no one goes
out and actually gets more.  The fact that the food is slowly going rotten
never seems to occur to people in this industry.  It's time to empty the
damn fridge and start over.  Otherwise, the rest of the world will end up
using our fridge as their toxic waste dump because we'll have grown so used
to eating rotten food that will accept more of it when the rest of the world
realizes it's gone bad.


If people want the v4 space, let them have it, and that in particular
applies to people on this continent.  Instead we sit in a situation where
the usefulness of v4 is extremely limited, and instead of maximizing what is
left of that usefulness, and using the v4 space before its sell by date, we
put processes and procedures and blockages in the way of those who DO have
the ability to consume the space in a legitimate manner.  Meanwhile, our
useful v4 pool slowly goes rotten until its useless and no one wants it.  


What does this end up doing?  Making waste out of what could have been used.
AfriNIC claims it needs revenue, well, wake up call, putting the community
in a position where it's so difficult to get space that they would rather
starve than apply for it, isn't conducive to actually getting people to pay
for the space we have and generate those needed revenues.  


Work this out long term. at currently, PI v6 space is free if you have PI v4
space. LIR v6 space is pretty cheap, you get a /32 as an LIR, chances are,
because of the size of the allocation, you're never gonna need another
allocation.  This means, end of life of v4, the revenue streams for the RIR
are going to take a hit, a significant one.  It is pure insanity to sit on
as much V4 as AfriNIC has and NOT promote its active usage in every way
possible, because if people have it, they are paying for it, either in terms
of the EU allocation fees or the recurring LIR fees.  Once the v4 is dead
in the rest of the world, no one is gonna want it, and the chance to
generate revenue which could be needed long term to sustain this
organization is GONE.


Let's not be fools and waste what we have by letting it go to rot sitting in
an allocation pool that has been made impossibly difficult to access due to
inefficiency, moving goal posts, inconsistency and complexity.





From: Maina Noah [mailto:mainanoa at] 
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2013 7:49 PM
To: Andrew Alston
Cc: Sunday Folayan; AfriNIC Resource Policy Discussion List
Subject: Re: [AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address
Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)




IPv4 addresses are leftovers....lets focus on the fresh food...IPv6 and
catch up with those who no longer have leftovers remember they are deploying
IPv6 aggressively. Lets encourage that than wasting time on trying to figure
out how we can best use the left overs we have. See leftovers can only be
eaten after one night...then next night they come poisonous :-)


Maina Noah


On 14 January 2013 15:50, Andrew Alston <alston.networks at> wrote:

Hi Sunday,

I would support such a policy as well, no questions asked, without even
blinking.  Particularly with the 3-1 ratio mentioned.  It was this ratio
that caused such huge arguments during a recent allocation, where AfriNIC
came out with arguments like "If someone is on a LAB pc, they aren't using a
phone at the same time, therefore it won't need an IP address" (Yes, I
actually have that logged).  Completely mad, since who turns off a phones
wireless the moment they walk into a PC lab....

If we can pass a policy that does this, treating the Universities and
research centres as end users and supporting this ratio for university
campuses in allocations, where allocations are based on documentation
surrounding enrolled student head count, I would be a very happy man.  You
want to co-draft with me?


-----Original Message-----
From: Sunday Folayan [mailto:sfolayan at]
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2013 2:42 PM
To: Andrew Alston
Cc: 'David Conrad'; 'AfriNIC Resource Policy Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address
Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)


I like your statement ... "Let SOMEONE get some advantage out of the assets,
while they still has value".

I will support a policy proposal that has a reincarnation of John Postel go
round African Universities and Research Centres, looking at their LANs and
making a direct relacement of their Natted V4 space with routable v4
addresses and also matching v6 to go with it. oh ... we can even estimate 3
addresses per students population, since they will have laptops, pads and
fones, all requiring Wifi at the minimum.

That is a no-brainer to get the assets used, while they still have value.


On 14/01/2013 13:13, Andrew Alston wrote:
> The rest of the world is interested in African v4, because yes, while
> we are behind the curve on v6, is the fact is, the rest of the world
> is also behind on their v6 deployments.  We are just a lot more behind
> than they are :) Sadly reality is, people spoke to years about the
> fact that v4 was going to run out, hell, I remember sitting in Cairo
> in 2005 and hearing the arguments put forward by Tony Hain about this,
> no one wanted to listen.  Now, the v4 is gone and people need to keep
> going while they migrate/dual-stack.  So, there is demand for v4.
> Africa is in a unique position though, because by the time we run out
> of v4, the need for dual-stack will probably be a lot less than it is
> today, because the rest of the world will have stopped using nearly as
> much of it by that point at our current allocation rates.  Wanna take
> a guess at what is going to happen then if we aren't v6 ready?  Just
> like the rest of the world flogs us old equipment because they think
> they can get away with it, we'll suddenly become the dumping ground
> for the unused v4 that isn't needed anymore.  Sadly, if attitudes
> haven't changed, we may find that many companies buy into this and
actually get those assets.
> V4 assets are valuable today, a year or two from now, they will be a
> lot less valuable, 5 years from now, they will be practically
> worthless.  I'd rather see us get away from our v4 obsession by
> forcing people to go v6 depleting our pool, than drag it on so long
> that the rest of the world moves past it, and then continues to keep
> us in the back waters by selling us their now worthless v4 assets
> because we've never changed the mindset to "WE NEED V6".
> You know, I find this whole discussion to be kind of sad, we as
> African's claim we want to be part of the global community, we want
> open trade, we want the same rights and advantages as the rest of the
> world, we want to be part of the global economies, yet, we still sit
> and argue against getting involved globally.  It works both ways
> people, if we continue to hoard what we are VERY obviously not using
> (look at our allocation rates), simply because "It's my precious"
> (sorry, lame reference to lord of the rings), all we will do is
> further alienate ourselves from the rest of the globe.  That isn't
> Either find a way  to actually USE the v4 we have on the continent, or
> let it go, the first is obviously preferential, but if we can't do
> that because of all the reasons detailed in my last email or because
> of any other reasons, then let SOMEONE get some advantage out of the
> assets while they still have value.

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